UNC student claims rape by football player; athlete suspended from team

Andrea Blanford Image
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
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Delaney Robinson came forward in part to promote change for how sexual assault and rape victims are treated.

CHAPEL HILL (WTVD) -- A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student claims she was raped by a UNC football player earlier this year.

Tuesday afternoon, UNC Sophomore Delaney Robinson held a press conference to not only talk about the alleged delays in her case but to also promote change for how sexual assault and rape victims are treated. Robinson said she came forward not for herself, but for the other students who are "not protected."

Robinson spoke publicly in Raleigh, along with her father and her attorney, about the alleged incident that happened on Valentine's Day in the Ram Village apartments on UNC's campus.

The man accused is Allen Artis, a linebacker. Team officials said he is suspended from the team as of Tuesday, per university policy.

Allen Artis
UNC Athletics Department

According to her attorney's office: "Robinson requested self-sworn warrants for misdemeanor assault on a female and misdemeanor sexual battery as a result of the Orange County District Attorney's refusal to prosecute the case despite sufficient physical evidence."

The Orange County Sheriff's Office tells ABC11 that Artis was served with the misdemeanor warrant when he came into the magistrate's office Wednesday morning.

RELATED: UNC athlete linked to alleged rape turns himself in

WATCH: Raw video of news conference for UNC student who claims she was raped by UNC football player

"I did everything a rape victim is supposed to do," Robinson told reporters at a press conference. "I reported it. I allowed the rape kit to be taken. I gave a statement. I cooperated with law enforcement and the Title IX office. But six months later the University has done nothing," she continued. "I'm taking this public stand not for me, but for the other students on campus who are not protected, despite what the University tells us. I love this University. It's my home. I plan on graduating. But I expect the University to fulfill its promises to me and to all students."

Robinson's attorney, Denise Branch, said that in an email, the UNC Department of Public Safety claimed they didn't have enough evidence to support criminal charges. Branch said her client went to the hospital the night of the alleged incident and allowed the hospital to examine her and get all the required evidence for a rape kit. Branch stated that the physical exam showed blunt force trauma to Robinson's genitals as well as bruising to her neck.

Robinson immediately cooperated with law enforcement and continues to do so, according to her attorney.

Branch said in a statement that: "For more than six months we have asked the University and the Orange County District Attorney's office to hold Delaney's rapist accountable for his actions. At every turn we have been met with discouragement and delay."

Branch claims Orange County District Attorneys told her that "unconsciousness is rape, black out drunk is not rape."

Robinson admitted to underage drinking on the night of the alleged incident and said in a statement that she takes "responsibility for that, but that doesn't give anyone the right to violate me. I did not deserve to be raped."

Branch said that officials told her they are waiting for results from the SBI office on Robinson's BAC from that night. Branch explained that under new Title IX rules, the BAC of the alleged victim isn't for consideration. She also said that under Title IX, you have to have active consent for sexual intercourse.

Robinson stated she was also asked by DPS investigators about the incident and said they "asked humiliating and accusatory questions."

"My humiliation turned to anger when I listened to the recorded interviews of my rapist by DPS," Robinson's statement continued. "Rather than accusing him of anything, the investigators spoke to him with a tone of comradery. They provided reassurances to him when he became upset. They even laughed with him when he told them how many girls' phone numbers he had managed to get on the same night he raped me. They told him, 'don't sweat it, just keep on living your life and playing football.'"

Her attorney said they were able to view the public safety file on her case which contained video interviews. They said those interviews showed authorities joking and telling him not to worry.

"Treatment of my client compared to the accused is startling," Branch said. She would not say that the accused received special treatment because he's an athlete.

Robinson said she wants to see change for sexual assault and rape victims.

Robinson repeated during the news conference that she loves her school and does not have any plans to transfer. She said she still sees the alleged attacker every day on campus and that it is difficult for her.

Orange County DA Jim Woodall told ABC11 Tuesday that the case was "investigated thoroughly," but that the investigation was ongoing and the length of time it's taking shouldn't deter victims of sexual assault to come forward.

"These are very serious cases," he said. "As we've seen in the past, sometimes cases like this- a lot of information comes out even after charges are filed so you have to be very careful and very deliberate whenever we're investigating these cases. You never want someone accused unless there's proof beyond a reasonable doubt- not just proof that something occurred- but proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred."

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill issued a statement Tuesday afternoon after Robinson's news conference.

"While the University is aware of allegations made today by attorney Denise Branch regarding a student, under federal privacy law we are prohibited from responding to those allegations," said Joel Curran, a spokesman for the school.

The university said they take all allegations about sexual violence or misconduct extremely seriously.

"Chancellor Carol L. Folt and her administration have made addressing these issues our highest priority. Two years ago, the University adopted a revised comprehensive policy on discrimination and harassment, including sexual assault and sexual misconduct, that was developed based on recommendations and broad input from the campus community and outside experts. That policy establishes a rigorous process conducted by well-trained investigators. The University provides compassionate care to all students who need support," the statement read in part.

UNC coach Larry Fedora said in a statement that he's aware of the situation. He said, in part, "I cannot comment on either the allegation or the investigative process. We take these matters very seriously and are fully cooperating with the appropriate authorities."

UNC defensive coordinator Gene Chizik said Tuesday evening after practice that he had no response about the rape allegations and referred reporters to the statement released earlier by the university.

"I think we made a statement regarding that, Coach Fedora and the university and that's where we're going to leave it," he said.

Asked how team morale was at practice today, Chizik simply replied: "outstanding."

Asked about his suspended teammate, UNC defensive back Des Lawrence said, "He's still important to the team; we got guys stepping up to fulfill his spot."

Typically, ABC11 does not name victims of sexual assault, however, Robinson has come out publicly.